If you’re looking for a rough idea of how much you might be entitled to in spousal support (based on your respective incomes, and length of marriage), there’s a free online tool that can help. My Support Calculator is a scaled down version of the software that lawyers in Ontario use to calculate spousal support, child support and equalization called DivorceMate. Although there are many items, or inputs, that don’t appear in the free version, the tool can certainly provide a starting point for figuring out either what you might be entitled to, or what you might owe.
The calculator is based on the federal spousal support guidelines and, as such, only provides a guideline, not a rule, for quantifying the range of support (from low to high). The guidelines themselves are not law. Most importantly, unlike child support, entitlement to spousal support is not a given and is not clear cut. The calculator will not tell you who is entitled to spousal support, the exceptions to the spousal support guidelines, or restructuring options for payment of support (ie. periodic or lump sum). It will also not tell you in what circumstances spousal support might be reviewable in the future. Spousal support can be reviewed when there is a material change in circumstances for either party. Or, a separation agreement can provide that the issue of support will be re-opened at some point in the future, for example, when child support obligations come to an end.